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    National food security establishes to review the state of food security

    Chitral Times Report

     

    ISLAMABAD: Food is one of the basic human rights and necessities. Government of Pakistan in collaboration with the Provincial Governments is committed to ensure the availability and access of the people of Pakistan to safe and nutritious food. National food security is also considered as one of the important components of the national security. Since creation of Pakistan, there has been no policy framework to address the challenges of national food security. Our Government focused on this issue and assigned priority to formulate a strategic policy framework in collaboration with the Provincial Governments, international organizations and other relevant stakeholders. This policy document will provide a mechanism to address all four components of food security including food availability, accessibility, utilization and stability. The policy envisages to achieve these objectives through alleviation of poverty, promotion of sustainable food production systems (by achieving an average growth rate of 4% per annum) and making agriculture more productive, profitable, climate resilient and competitive. Food availability will be ensured through increase in production of food items. Measures will be taken to improve farmers’ access to quality inputs like seed, fertilizers, pesticides, credit etc. Furthermore, improved farm techniques/Good Agriculture Practices (GAP) will also be promoted and issues like land & water management will also be addressed. It may also be added here that this Government has also formulated and formally launched the first ever Water Policy, which becomes especially important in the wake of climate change and water shortages. Research will also be one of priority areas to address the emerging challenges of climate change, water stress, pests & diseases and other challenges. Pakistan is blessed with different ecologies and under this policy framework, Federal and Provincial Governments would collaborate to harness best utilization of available recourses to modernize agricultural production and improve accessibility of the people to food. Three significant aspects hampering the improvement in production of agriculture including development of resistant crop varieties, provision of quality seed and high input cost, this Government has already undertaken following measures:- i. Promulgated Plant Breeders’ Rights Act, 2016 ii. Promulgated Seed (amendment) Act 2015. iii. Abolished subsidy on fertilizer and has imposed 2% uniform tax. A National Food Security Council is being set up under the chairmanship of the Prime Minister with the Chief Ministers and representatives from relevant Government Agencies to review the state of food security and take appropriate policy measures.

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